All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to Nebraska pitcher Nate Fisher about the Huskers' NCAA tournament bid, coach Darin Erstad's baseball and football skills and much more.
When Adam Carriker talks, you'll want to listen. Get every episode of the "Carriker Chronicles" in your inbox.
Here's a transcript of today's show:
Adam Carriker: Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles the people's show where we take the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital. It's the summer, it's kind of getting warmer, and it's baseball season, ladies and gentlemen. Today I am joined by Husker baseball pitcher, Mr. Nate Fisher, how are you doing, my friend?
Nate Fisher: I'm doing well. Thanks for having me.
Adam Carriker: I want to thank you for joining me. So I'm going to kind of go through the season a little bit as it were, but I want to start with you're in the NCAA Tournament. You're going to be taking on Connecticut. What do you see out of them? What makes them a good team? What can Husker fans expect to see out of the Nebraska baseball team?
Nate Fisher: Yeah, UConn's a scrappy team and, you know, they're a real good ballclub. We've got to play sound baseball and I mean, it's going to be a dogfight. It's probably going to be, you know, a one, two-run ballgame. In my opinion, I think it's going to come down to who plays cleaner, who can get the big hit.
Adam Carriker: What are what are some of the things that have stood out to you about Connecticut specifically that have helped make them a good team has gotten them into the NCAA
Nate Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. I mean they're pretty balanced lineup. There's not a ton of bunch of home runs on the team, but they have a lot of good hitters that put together good at-bats and then they have some pretty good arms, they have a really good starting pitching rotation and they have a reliever out of the pen that's really good.
Adam Carriker: Now going back to the beginning of the season, you guys started off fairly well in the Big Ten, you were No. 1 in the Big Ten early on, hit some bumps in the road along the way, then as the season wound down, you bounced back, taking on Michigan, winning that series, taking on Arizona State, beat Michigan a couple of times in the Big Ten tournament, beating Iowa in the Big Ten tournament. What was the reason for the turnaround towards the end of the season for this Husker baseball team?
Nate Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. You know coach was talking about we went to Northwestern, they took two or three from us and there was just he brought us all together and said, "You know boys, we're in a rut right now," and we couldn't seem to get it going. He said, "I've seen this before. Just keep fighting keep clawing and we'll get out of and we're going to get red hot. I can I can feel it." Everyone really bought into that, you know, we didn't quit or start feeling bad for ourselves. We just kept riding and try to get some dubs (wins).
Adam Carriker: But talk to me about that Iowa game in the Big Ten tournament. You pitched that game, you guys won 11-1. Obviously, Iowa's supposed to be our big rival, I think it's getting towards being that in all sports. So talk about that Iowa win, specifically, especially where you pitched in the game.
Nate Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. They beat me earlier in the year at Iowa City. So definitely, it was a revenge game for me. I wanted to get back at them. Yeah, I would definitely say it's a rivalry. So it was a big game for us. And I think the whole team in general wanted to get back at those guys and get a little revenge on them, so we could get it done in the Big Ten tourney.
Adam Carriker: Who is Nebraska baseball's biggest rival in your opinion?
Nate Fisher: I would say probably Iowa and you could throw Creighton in there too.
Adam Carriker: All right. I was just curious about that. Let's go back to March of this year. You're playing Baylor you got a no-hitter going into the ninth inning. Have you ever had a no-hitter in your life all the way back to Little League. Have you ever thrown a no-hitter?
Nate Fisher: Yeah, I threw a couple in high school but, never anything close to that throughout college it was kind of uncharted waters in my college career.
Adam Carriker: I still haven't forgiven my dad to this day in Little League, I was 12, I had a no-hitter through five and they took me out going into the sixth inning. I way exceeded my pitch count, so he did the right thing, but I've never forgiven him to this day. I never got my no-hitter, Nate.
So talk about what it was like, getting to the Big Ten championship game. Talk about what that feeling was like, obviously Ohio State won that particular game, but talk about how that felt, you know, especially with the ups and downs losing two out of three to Northwestern you know and bouncing back talk about the ups and downs of how that particular game and getting there felt.
Nate Fisher: Yeah, I mean, it was unbelievable getting there. Just played in front of those crowds. You know, the crowd just as we kept winning, the crowd just kept getting bigger and bigger. And it was just so cool to be able to just sit back and just see that stadium fill up. And obviously we didn't get it done on Sunday, but when we were just a hit away and we just didn't have to get hit, but just throughout the whole year just to fill out a fight and scratch and claw and I think we kind of showed that throughout the run in the Big Ten tourney.
Adam Carriker: Now as you guys made the run through the Big ten tournament, you're getting ready to play in the NCAA tournament here. What has been Erstad's message as you guys have gotten on this role, because he talked about you know, he's seen this before, teams get in ruts, it's hard to get wins. Just keep grinding the way you guys did. Now you guys are rolling a little bit. So what's his message now heading into this game?
Nate Fisher: As much as now it's just, we have the talent, all the talent we need in the world to beat anybody in the country. We just have to bring that each and every day. And that starts in our preparation for upcoming weeks. We had a great week of preparation this week, and he just drilled into our heads that we are talented enough to compete anybody and now we just have to go do it.
Adam Carriker: What's it like playing for a legend like Darin Erstad?
Nate Fisher: It's unbelievable. He's like a second dad, to all of us. He's been through it all, he's been to the show and it's a pretty unreal thing I'm able to have.
Adam Carriker: What's the biggest thing you think you've learned from him during your time playing for him at Nebraska?
Nate Fisher: I would say just the way he approaches each and every day and each every game. He's obviously an extremely intense person. I'll would just say his overall mentality, day in and day out, he brings it. No matter what we're doing, he always brings and I think that's kind of set off a bunch of us guys. I think that's kind of something the guys buy in on that, you don't you can't afford to take days off and obviously he never does. He brings it every single day.
Adam Carriker: So it's interesting, a guy used to play basketball, a lot of times if a guy's retired, but he still has it, he'll every once in a while, grab a ball and just throw down a two-handed dunk just to remind people that he's still got it. In football, you don't see many retired players put putting on pads but a wide receiver might go out and race somebody just to show people that he's still got it. Does Darin Erstad ever throw on the mitt, throw a rocket, does he grab a bat? Does he ever just show you guys, every once in a while, that hey, I still got it in there too?
Nate Fisher: It was about two years ago, we were hitting B.P. (batting practice) one day then he got got a bad got in there, and took him a couple swings. He put one out the right field berm, so but yeah, he just kind of hit it, kind of walked out and said "Yeah, I still got it."
Adam Carriker: That kind of reminds me of (Scott) Frost. If you go to a football practice, a lot of times he's in there throwing passes to the receivers just like the quarterback. What about Erstad? Has he ever just grabbed a football and just giving it a boot, being the old kicker that he was?
Nate Fisher: We've asked many times to try, when we'll practice on the Hawk (Hawks Championship Center) to get him to punt one, but he won't do it. I've never seen video of it, but I heard he had a boot.
Adam Carriker: So I was at a banquet at the beginning of the season, and there was people from all sports there. It was the Husker Athletics Hall of Fame, a bunch of people were being inducted, Erstad was being inducted. And (Tom) Osborne was giving a speech. And he was, he was talking about the 1993 season. And he talked about how they, you know, they missed the kick at the end, and unfortunately, it didn't go their way, but he talked about how Erstad, you know, maybe had he been on the team a year earlier in 1993, instead of 1994, maybe some things would have gone a little bit differently that year. And he remembers watching his tapes and just how, like he would basically boot it over the upright half the time. So I've always wondered if he still kicks it, but apparently he doesn't do that anymore. My son's a 9-year-old baseball pitcher. And he's always looking for ways to get better and improve and work on things. So being a college baseball pitcher as yourself, you got any advice I could share with my son, Jacob?
Nate Fisher: You know, just stay at it. I guess that's the biggest thing. I mean, it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of time put into it.
As you know, if love something you've got to put your mind to it and you've got to commit to it and just continue to work at it. Learn from your failure, learn from your success. I think that a lot can come from both of those things. I guess I can't maybe give you a specific mechanic or this or that but I would just say just enjoy it you know, just keep working at it and I mean, results are going to come.
Adam Carriker: I always tell him, "You're the quarterback of the baseball team when you're out there, man. All eyes are on you, but the game is in your hands." That's what I always give him advice for. It's a lot of mental stuff. One last question for you. You got any never-before-told stories or something about yourself that people may not know that you might feel comfortable sharing?
Nate Fisher: Something kind of off the top my head I mean, I guess for me, my story's a little different. I wasn't a five-star recruit or somebody that had offers all over the country. I was just a small town, Nebraska kid and you know, I was somehow got noticed by Coach Erstad in the summer my junior year. He called me down on a visit and obviously it's where I wanted to come. I love Nebraska. I grew up watching the Huskers in every sport, I guess, for me is just living out a childhood dream of being a small town, Nebraska kid, and playing ball. So I guess that's maybe a little bit of a behind the scenes.
Adam Carriker: That's pretty cool. I love hearing those stories. Those are what Nebraska is all about. Alright, until next time, Husker Nation. Thanks for joining me, Nate. And always remember
Nate Fisher: to throw the Bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
Husker History: Nebraska football's 25 most common opponents
Who are the Huskers' biggest gridiron rivals? Check out a photo collection featuring Nebraska's 25 most-faced opponents, and be sure to follow Husker History on Twitter for more tidbits about NU's storied football history.